I was pretty excited to receive The Late Great Whatever by The Lovely Bad Things in the mail right around the turn of the year. After all, the band’s 2012 EP, Old Ghost New Waves, just cracked the top five in my top 15 EPs of 2012. The new album is set for a February 26 release on Volcom Entertainment, and “Fried Eyes” is the first track to debut publicly from the band.
The Lovely Bad Things formed back in 2009 after years as friends/acquaintances; the band has been the purveyor of super lovable, crazy loud garage-pop ever since. And like many a garage-pop band, they’ve got a carefree fun sense of humor. It comes through somewhat subdued, but I assure you it’s there in full force (and it doesn’t take much digging to find it).
The word pop can be misleading as The Lovely Bad Things create very loud music. “Fried Eyes” is a prime example of this, starting out with a playful bass line, a pair of guitar riffs, and dual male/female lyrics before opening up the volume in a very-much rock sort of way. But pop is essential to their music: it is undoubtedly catchy, and you again can hear that in “Fried Eyes”.
Lauren Curtius provides pleasantly harmonic backing vocals that contrast in the most perfect of ways with vocals by her male counterparts: Brayden and Camron Ward, and Tim Hatch — one to perhaps all three. It gets loud, it gets scream-y, but that doesn’t keep it from making your head bounce. Hence pop.
Here’s a little snippet from the band’s bio:
The Late Great Whatever was started just after the release of the maxi-EP New Ghost/Old Waves, until now the Lovely Bad Thingsâ€™ signature release. Although theyâ€™d released a full-length called Shark Week in 2010, the album that would become â€¦Whatever was going to be something new, they explain: â€œOur first real full-length,â€ says Tim. At least half of Shark Weekâ€™s songs were written in â€¦ oh, about two minutes, calculates Lauren, because back then Lovely Bad Things were just discovering the knockout sugar high that came from just playing music with each other. But this would be different: â€œHow do I say it and not sound like a super-clichÃ© musician?â€ asks Camron. â€œMore mature, I guess?â€
I’ve given The Late Great Whatever a listen, and I can honestly tell you that this album is packed with plenty of songs just as great as “Fried Eyes”. If you have yet to discover The Lovely Bad Things, you’re in for a treat: this band is one of the best out there right now in underground garage. And for the die-hard garage pop fan, this is one of the year’s first must-have albums!
You’ll notice I’m being a bit cavalier about the other songs on the LP. Yeah, that’s purposeful (keeping you in suspense). What I will say is this: …Whatever strengthens the sound The Lovely Bad Things created with New Ghost/Old Waves, building upon the foundations that made that EP one of my favorites from 2012. This album promises to be a stunner. Just give “Fried Eyes” a listen and you’ll know what I mean.